Dayton Air Show impacts airport commercial traffic

Airport commercial traffic is impacted by the Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to Terry Slaybaugh--City of Dayton Director of Aviation.

There are stretches where the air space has to be exclusively used to the air show and commercial flights have to be grounded for 30 to 45 minutes at a time. It takes a lot of coordination to minimize the impact.

All weekend long, there will be high-flying and high-speed acts in the skies at the Dayton Air Show. During this time, the Dayton International Airport remains open for business.

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Travelers flights still have to go on at the airport terminal during the air show. “It’s something we start working on way before the show,” said Terry Slaybaugh.

For jet teams like the Blue Angels or other supersonic fighters like the F-22 to be in the air, the airport closes its airspace for an hour at a time and no other planes are allowed to take off or land so the jets can practice safely and alone. “We’re shutting it down for a very large area. Five miles around the airport and five miles--or five thousand feet--over the airport there’s no activity,” said Slaybaugh.

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There were three closure times scheduled tonight and there will be more this weekend. The airport tells airlines when those closures will be so carriers can schedule flights around those times to minimize any delays, but there’s a little more flexibility when propelled planes perform. “We have two parallel runways so we can actually put up the slower speed aircraft, the turbo-props. We can put them up, they can practice, and we can still operate commercial flights on our other runway,” said Slaybaugh.

All of this, plus constant communication between the air show and commercial pilots and air traffic control is what makes sure the air show weekend stays safe. “It takes a lot of cooperation from a lot of people,” said Slaybaugh.

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